Eternity Opera return in late August with Verdi’s masterpiece Rigoletto
After their critically acclaimed productions of Don Giovanni, The Marriage of Figaro, and last year’s Orfeo and Madam Butterfly, Eternity Opera is returning this month from 23-31 August with Verdi’s 1851 dramatic masterpiece Rigoletto at the Hannah Playhouse in Wellington.
A tragic story of jealousy, vengeance and sacrifice, Rigoletto is one of Verdi’s most popular operas. It features some of opera’s most immediately famous music, including “La donna è mobile”, “Questa o quella” and “Caro nome”.
Outstanding Australian baritone James Clayton will return to New Zealand to play ‘Rigoletto’, joining US-based Kiwi tenor Boyd Owen as ‘The Duke’ and Wellington soprano Hannah Catrin Jones as ‘Gilda’, who are both returning to Eternity Opera after their stunning portrayals in last year’s Madam Butterfly.
Of particular note is that well known Wellington opera singer Roger Wilson is celebrating his 50-year anniversary as a professional opera singer with his role as ‘Monterone’ this production.
James Clayton has been lauded by audiences and reviewers alike for his many roles with New Zealand Opera and Opera Australia, as well as concert appearances with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Wellington and with the Melbourne, Tasmanian and West Australian Symphony Orchestras respectively. Rigoletto will be his first performance with Eternity Opera.
Performed in English this will again be directed by Alex Galvin and conducted by Matthew Ross, with support from the Eternity Chamber Orchestra.
Eternity Opera Director Alex Galvin said, “After the fantastic response we had for Madam Butterfly last year, we are incredibly excited to be staging Eternity Opera’s largest production to date.
“Eternity Opera was established to support the many talented singers and musicians in the Wellington region and provide opportunities to showcase their talent. But we are now also attracting a lot of great singers back to Wellington to perform with us, and this production of Rigoletto will feature a truly amazing cast of soloists and chorus.”
Rigoletto features over ten solo roles, plus chorus. Usually, the chorus only has male singers, but for this production, women will feature very prominently in the chorus as well as having many solo roles.
Eternity Opera Company brings opera productions to Wellington audiences that can be enjoyed by everyone – from opera fans to first-timers.
Review excerpts from Eternity Opera’s 2018 production of Madam Butterfly:
Eternity Opera’s production was first-rate – professional, accomplished and earnest. The cast and orchestra were excellent, and four leads were exceptional. It deserved its standing ovation. – Stephen Gibbs, DMS Review
I thought the production a remarkable demonstration of the power of heartfelt and concentrated focus...to conjure up whole worlds of feeling and imagination. Very great credit to Eternity Opera and all associated with the production, for making opera’s star shine so very brightly once more at Wellington’s Hannah Playhouse. – Peter Mechen, Middle C Review
Both Hannah Catrin Jones and Boyd Owen bring total commitment to their roles as Butterfly and Pinkerton – she with both vulnerability and strength across her vocal range, he with ringing tone and robust passion … Their wedding night ‘love duet’ is convincingly sensuous and endearing -- Pepe Becker, Theatreview